Hey all! After our previous blog posts about getting around Sofia with the public transport or on foot, it is high time we tell you about everyone’s favorite way of transportation in the city. With this post, we are taking you on a ride with the Sofia metro! We have prepared our next dose of useful tips and tricks for visiting Sofia.
The consturction of the Sofia metro started in the 1970s. It took several decades before the first line opened. However, it was in the last 10 years that the metro network saw its biggest expansion with two new lines now fully operating (inaugurated in 2012 and 2020) and a longer 1st line that can now take you all the way to the Sofia Airport.
When entering any metro station, you can find additional information about the metro lines, the stops, or the timetable, on signs like these:
It now takes around 30 minutes to get from the airport to Serdika station in the city centre (and vice versa). There are actually a couple of other options to reach the city centre from the airport – by taxi or bus (you can find more information here) – but taking a taxi holds certain dangers to your wallet and there are only two bus lines that operate from the airport, so the new metro might be your best option. Keep in mind that the metro only goes to Terminal 2 of the Sofia Airport. If you happen to arrive at Terminal 1, there are free shuttle buses every 30 minutes that can take you from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 and vice versa.
If you land at Terminal 2, just head left past Departures to the metro’s entrance at one side of the terminal. The station is called Sofia Airport (Летище София) and this is where your journey begins.
Of course, the journey must also start with a small dose of history, Free Sofia Tour style. As you enter, you will be welcomed by the statue of Orpheus.
He had a divinely gifted voice, one that could charm all who heard it. No god or mortal could resist his music; even rocks and trees would move closer to hear him. Orpheus is probably the most famous Thracian, whereas the story of his love for Eurydice is a timeless tragic love story.
Next to the statue of the enchanting Orpheus, you will find rather ordinary ticket vending machines. Another recently introduced high-tech innovation, these machines are fortunately very foreign-friendly, and they have a menu in English. If you are tech shy, you can head for the ticket office to find additional information and a person selling tickets. There, you can also purchase a multi-travel electronic card for the metro. A single electronic multi-travel card, pre-loaded with ten rides, costs 12 BGN to buy;
Vending machines for tickets and the ticket office, source: Free Sofia Tour
The new price for a one-time ticket is 1,6 BGN (around 0.80 EUR). As of April 2018 you no longer need a ticket for your luggage. The fine for travelling without a ticket is currently 30 BGN. Fines are given by ticket inspectors, whom you will easily recognize by their blue uniforms:
You can also find your way on the map, or you can also do this online on the metro’s website, where you can find a virtual map. The Metropolitan website also offers a general scheme with a lot of curious facts. The first metro train is at 05:00 and the last at 24:00. Once inside the metro trains, electronic signs and voice announcements mark the current and next stations, as well as line connections.
Moreover, on every station you will find boards showing remaining time to the next trains, as shown on the picture below.
Do not be confused: the two trains marked above are headed in the same general direction (red line), but have different end stops. As of August 2020 you will see those 2 seperated as M1 and M4. M1 (in red) going to the Sofia Business Park and M4 (in yellow) going to the Sofia Airport:
The Sofia Metro was largely built in the last 10 years. Therefore, all new stations are wheelchair-friendly and have elevators. The only problem would be in some of the older stations (from Serdika to Slivnitsa station on the M1 – the first metro line. Fortunately, the local authorities are currently trying to fix this.
The intersection of the red, yellow and blue lines is Serdika station, where you can transfer from one line to the other. This is also where you need to get off if you are looking for the Free Sofia Tour and the city’s main landmarks. The starting point is just two minutes walking time from the station, as shown on the map below:
Hope that this was helpful. Have a safe journey! We look forward to seeing you!
Also check out our:
Last Updated: August 2020
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.